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New Year, New Home? How To Declutter The Positive Way

A cluttered home can easily drain you of your energy so with a new year, as well as a new decade, beginning now is the perfect time to get rid of the clutter you no longer need. But where should you start?

To begin, make sure you have realistic ideas of what you want to do and why. There is no point setting a goal of decluttering the entire house if you only have a few short hours, however, if you dedicate that time to clearing the kitchen drawers you will feel satisfied that you have achieved at least one goal.

Take a look around your home and make a list of the areas that need the most work and start from there. By tackling one area at a time you will start to see the progress you are making. It is also important that you set a finished date for your work. If you have a spare room that needs a few days of dedicated cleaning, set an achievable date to work towards.

Another tip is to create three piles or bags for your clutter, one for items you no longer want, one for donating, and one for keeping. If you are decluttering it is important that you do not create a bigger mess than the one you started with.

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The items you no longer want can also be separated into sections. If you can recycle anything – whether it’s through a curbside pickup or at a recycling drop off location – make sure you do. You should also check any electrical items and see if they can also be recycled.

If there are items that you cannot recycle or want to send to a charity, why not hold a garage sale? Your neighborhood may have a specified date for garage sales so it is a good idea to check that first.

If you are decluttering a large area – a basement, attic or garage – it could be a good idea to rent a dumpster. By throwing your items directly into the dumpster there is a reduced chance of you changing your mind and keeping your unwanted items.

It is also important to remember that a lot of your clutter will have sentimental attachments to them, so make sure you are mentally prepared to part with items that you no longer need, even if Great Auntie Janet bought it for you several years ago.

Another tip to remember is the “80/20 rule” in regards to our wardrobe. As a rule we tend to only wear around 20% of our wardrobe for 80% of the time. This rule can also be applied to other areas of our belongings such as toys, books or video games, and with music and movies so easily available online do you really need to keep that cupboard full of DVDs and CDs?

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When looking at electrical items there are a few rules you need to remember. First of all does it still work? Secondly, do you still want it? If you answer yes to both then find somewhere to house it. However, if you answer no to the first question then you need to ask yourself if you are ever going to fix it. If not, throw it out or you’ll have a broken item in your house for longer than you need it.

If you have items that you have not used for at least six months ask yourself if you are actually going to use it again. This does not apply for seasonal items obviously.

A great tip we were told is that you should keep a note of what you are actually using. So if you wear an outfit, place it back in the wardrobe facing a different way to the rest of your clothes. In twelve months you will see what you have not worn and can therefore presume you will never wear it. This tip can be applied to other areas too.

If you have a large area to declutter that seems to big a challenge to take on start with a few smaller projects first. A cupboard or work surface that is full of items and looks disorganized can provide you with a sense of achievement once it is cleared out and looking organized again. After you have cleared a few smaller areas you should feel ready to tackle the bigger jobs.

Finally, sleep on it. There is no law that states you have to remove items from your home just because you feel you have to. If you have placed something in the ‘get rid’ or ‘charity’ boxes take them away the next day. That way if you do decide that actually, you do not want to lose them you can just remove them from the pile.